Children have been playing with toys for thousands of years. The earliest known toys served to entertain and teach children a culture’s values. Examples of these toys were spinning tops, weapons, and dolls made from wood, stone, and animal parts. Following the Industrial Revolution, toys were manufactured out of paper, wood, tin, and cast iron.
Following World War II, the you market saw a boom in sales. Beginning in the 1950s, toymakers began advertising their toy lines on TV.
Toys continued to reflect current events and culture after World War II. G.I. Joe was one of the most popular toy lines during the Cold War.
By the 1970s and 1980s, movies and television continued to push toys into uncharted territories. Kenner released Star Wars toys shortly after the film premiered. The demand for the figures was unprecedented. Before Star Wars, most action figures based on movies had mild success.
Manufacturers used media to sell their toys. Transformers, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, and other popular toy lines had tie-in comic books, movies, and television shows. Toy companies could tell a comprehensive storyline while advertising their toy lines with cartoons.
The 1970s also saw the first video game consoles release. The Atari 2600 in 1977 was the first video game console to see massive success. The Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1985 and saved the video game industry from a collapse.